Poultry Pioneer

This has truly been a collaboration of academia and industry.

— Ike Kang

Animal Science Associate Professor Ike Kang was recently honored with the 2019 National Chicken Council Broiler Research Award for his innovative and scientific contributions to the field of broiler processing. He received a similar award in 2018 for turkey research, the National Turkey Federation Research Award for Achievement – a prestigious accomplishment.

Kang is a pioneer in the area of poultry processing to improve processing efficiency, quality and tenderness, as well as product safety. Ultimately, Kang’s approach reduces the carcass chilling time by half, improves the tenderness of the meat, and significantly reduces the fresh water, using the proprietary technology of sub-zero saline chilling. Kang is seeking a patent for the improved technology, a process that takes up to four years.

“This has truly been a collaboration of academia and industry,” Kang said.

Kang’s research of the sub-zero saline chilling was funded by the California State University Agricultural Research Institute. Additionally, Kang is actively conducting a U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture research project on reducing the sodium and fat contents of processed meats. “Many people love processed meats but are concerned about high sodium and fat consumption,” Kang said. “The goal of the USDA project is to reduce the sodium content and fat content in processed meats like hot dogs without sacrificing the quality of the meat, meanwhile improving national health.”

Before joining Cal Poly four years ago, Kang taught at Michigan State University and previously worked for Kraft/Oscar Mayer Foods, where he centered his research on turkey hot-bonding and cold-batter mincing to improve processing efficiency and overall quality. At Cal Poly, he teaches courses in meat science, processed meat products, a sausage enterprise course in which students learn to make sausage and then sell it at the Farmer’s Market, and oversees a meat industry tour that takes students to 10 industry plants throughout California.


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